The 7 Experiment: Redeem the Time

6472aa65500029822c708dc7f6d5cbe4I save a lot of these Scripture and quote images to a screensaver file that flashes them across my monitor every few seconds. This one comes up often and reminds me that life is precious, the days are short and everything I do should have meaning. Some days I hate to see it! Usually because I am wasting time. I’m wasting the day. I’m wasting the energy the Lord has given me to accomplish the greater thing (John 14:12).

The Bible says to make the most of the time we have, redeem the time, buy up every opportunity. Take every chance you have to do the good things because these days are evil (Ephesians 5:16). The word redeem generally means ” to buy up, to buy all that is anywhere to be bought, and not to allow the suitable moment to pass by unheeded but to make it one’s own.” Another commentator says, ” . . .to rescue or recover our time from waste; to improve it for great and important purposes.”

So, how will you and I recover our time from waste today? As we go through The 7 Experiment, what changes will we make to buy back time and use it for good purposes, God’s purposes? Who will we touch today with the love of God because instead of frittering away an hour doing whatever it is we fritter at we reached out, we gave, we served. Isn’t this the reason we are waging mutiny? It’s not just to get organized and out from under the enormous pressure and tyranny of excess in our lives, as great as that is going to be. But, it is to free us up to show mercy, do justice and walk humbly before the Lord (Micah 6:8). Isn’t this the reason Jesus came? To touch lives, heal hearts, mend brokenness? He left and He left us here to complete the work. To pray and work to see God’s Kingdom come, His will done, on earth, as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10), not for us to build our own little mini-kingdom and see that our will and wishes are fulfilled.

Take back the day, call a grieving friend, cook a meal for a family with a new baby, pray for that neighbor who drives you bonkers. However and wherever God leads, go, do, love, serve.

Ask the Lord to show how you fit into His plan to bring His kingdom to earth.

 

The 7 Experiment: Let’s Get it Started

seven

Just one day away from our first meeting and I can’t wait. My click pencil and pink highlighter are jumping up and down on my desk tempting to me to pop the cover and get started. Whoa, little writing implements, your time will come!

It’s not too late to join the home or online group. Contact me here, on Facebook or by email at abiding@cfl.rr.com.

 

 

 

 

“Who do PEOPLE say that the Son of Man is?”

Jesus asked “Who do PEOPLE say that the Son of Man is?” (Mt 16:13)

An anonymous author penned this response…
To the artist, He is the One altogether lovely—Song of Solomon 5:15
To the architect, He is the Chief Cornerstone—1 Peter 2:6
To the astronomer, He is the Sun of Righteousness—Malachi 4:2
To the baker, He is the Bread of life—John 6:35
To the banker, He is the Hidden Treasure—Matthew 13:44
To the builder, He is the Sure Foundation—Isaiah 28:16
To the carpenter, He is the Door—John 10:7
To the doctor, He is the Great Physician—Jeremiah 8:22
To the educator, He is the Great Teacher—John 3:2
To the electrician, He is the Light of the world—John 8:12**
To the engineer, He is the New and Living way—Hebrews 10:20
To the farmer, He is the Sower and Lord of harvest—Luke 10:2
To the florist, He is the Rose of Sharon—Song of Solomon 2:1
To the geologist, He is the Rock of Ages—1 Corinthians 10:4
To the horticulturist, He is the True Vine—John 15:1
To the judge, He is the only righteous Judge of man—2 Timothy 4:8
To the juror, He is the Faithful and True Witness—Revelation 3:14
To the jeweler, He is the Pearl of great price—Matthew 13:46
To the lawyer, He is Counselor, Lawgiver, and True Advocate—Isaiah 9:6
To the newspaper man, He is Good News of great joy—Luke 2:10
To the oculist, He is the Light of the eyes—Proverbs 29:13
To the philanthropist, He is the unspeakable Gift—2 Corinthians 9:15
To the philosopher, He is the Wisdom of God—1 Corinthians 1:24
To the preacher, He is the Word of God—Revelation 19:13
To the priest, He is foreshadowed in the Tabernacle—Exodus 25:8**
To the sculptor, He is the Living Stone—1 Peter 2:4
To the servant, He is the Good Master—Matthew 23:8–10
To the statesman, He is the Desire of all nations—Haggai 2:7
To the student, He is the Incarnate Truth—1 John 5:6
To the theologian, He is the Author and Finisher of our faith—Hebrews 12:2
To the toiler, He is the Giver of rest—Matthew 11:28
To the sinner, He is the Lamb of God who takes the sin away—John 1:29
To the Christian, He is the Son of the Living God, the Savior, the Redeemer, and the Loving Lord.”
**Additions to the original list

Got this at Precept Austin’s blog.

Interest in The 7 Experiment

It has been gratifying this week to see that there are ladies who are willing to take on The 7 Experiment challenge and boldly declare mutiny on the excess in our lives in the areas of food, clothing, possessions, media, waste, spending, and stress.

Each discussion I’ve had has revealed that we are all in pretty much the same boat. There is excess in some or all areas of our lives and it is causing anxiety, guilt and stress. We want to change but motivation, discipline and encouragement are lacking. We want to put some space around our “stuff”, we want, as Jen says, “to create space for the Holy Spirit to move”, we want to see God move in a mighty way in our lives.

I am excited to see what the Lord does through this study. I believe it is His will that are lives are open and free for His movement. He will reward our desire with results as we come to Him admitting our weakness and dependence knowing we cannot do it without Him. Jesus tells us this in John 15:5,

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (ESV)

I like the way the Amplified Bible says it,

I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. (AMP)

Come on! Jump in with both feet. The Lord has amazing things in store for you. Promise!

Get more info about the study at here. Sign-up by contacting me at abiding@cfl.rr.com or register at alomachurch.org. Or, you can use the contact form below.

A Word from the Word: Faith

Hebrews 11:1

Some ways that this verse is translated.
NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. (Amplified Bible)

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the sign that the things not seen are true. (Bible in Basic English)

Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see. (Contemporary English Version)

Now faith is a well-grounded assurance of that for which we hope, and a conviction of the reality of things which we do not see. (Weymouth New Testament)

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (The New Living Translation)

Some wise words concerning this verse.
     Faith is to see as substantial fact what is hoped for on the basis of taking God’s promises seriously. It is to be assured of it, and to be convinced that what God has declared will be, seeing it as proved because He said it, even when it has not yet come about and is invisible. Thus it is to accept it as proved, on the basis of His word. Faith underpins hope in respect to what God has promised. Hope looks at what is to come with confidence, faith is satisfied that it will be so. The one who believes is satisfied that God has some better thing for him which is at present unseeable. (Pett)

True faith takes hold of the Divine word; it is weak or strong, great or small, as it receives, keeps, and uses, the word of God. The source of weak faith is in the ignorance and slowness of the heart with reference to the Divine testimony. The strength of faith is the humility of a helpless and broken heart cleaving to the promise. (Sermon Bible Commentary)

Faith is the sixth sense. It makes us as sure of unseen or future things, which we know about only through the divine Word, as we are of things which we can see and touch. When we are aware of the reality of these things, we naturally take them into account when we act. (F. B. Meyer)

The beginning point of faith is believing in God’s character: He is who he says. The end point is believing in God’s promises: He will do what he says. When we believe that God will fulfill his promises even though we don’t see those promises materializing yet, we demonstrate true faith. (Life Application Study Bible)

If people have faith, it means they believe that things hoped for according to God’s promises will be achieved and that unseen powers of God are real. Those with faith look beyond what they see. They know that they cannot explain the existence of the world solely by reasoning from the things that can be seen (11:1-3). (Bridgeway Bible Commentary)

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This is not a definition, but shows us something of what faith does. It is that which, to the individual, gives solid substance to things hoped for. It is no mere fanciful imagination, but an honest trust in the living God, by which the things of God are made a definite, clear reality to the heart, and are thus recognized to be more truly substantial than all material substance-for the latter will pass away. Also it has that peculiar power of evidencing to us “things not seen.” Faith in the living God is not blind, but the actual opening of the eyes, accepting unquestionable evidence of the reality of unseen, spiritual things. (L. M. Grant)

     This is not a definition of faith but a description of what faith does and how it works. True Bible faith is not blind optimism or a manufactured “hope-so” feeling. Neither is it an intellectual assent to a doctrine. It is certainly not believing in spite of evidence! That would be superstition.
True Bible faith is confident obedience to God’s Word in spite of circumstances and consequences.
Read that last sentence again and let it soak into your mind and heart.
This faith operates quite simply. God speaks and we hear His Word. We trust His Word and act on it no matter what the circumstances are or what the consequences may be. The circumstances may be impossible, and the consequences frightening and unknown; but we obey God’s Word just the same and believe Him to do what is right and what is best. (Wiersbe)

There is no better definition of this elusive word than verse 1: ‘Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see’. People often excuse themselves as not being able to believe, as if faith were a matter of genes. All human beings live by faith, not least in our technological age. What matters is where we place our trust, and on what grounds. (Hacking)

It is the “confident assurance” (the expression is used of a title deed that guarantees a future possession) that what is anticipated will be realized (11:1). Faith treats unseen things as realities, not mere wishes or hopes. Throughout this chapter the issue of faith hinges on believing in what is not seen or what is future. (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)

Other Scriptures about Faith
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. ” (Matt. 17:20)

Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. (1 Pet. 1:21)

But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor. 13:13)

We live by faith, not by sight. (2 Cor. 5:7)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God… (Eph. 2:8)

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb. 12:2)

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. (Rom. 10:17)

Some quotes about faith.
Faith, as Paul saw it, was a living, flaming thing leading to surrender and obedience to the commandments of Christ. (A. W. Tozer)

Faith expects from God what is beyond all expectation. (Andrew Murray)

Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe. (Augustine)

Faith is a living and unshakable confidence. a belief in God so assured that a man would die a thousand deaths for its sake. (Martin Luther)

Faith isn’t the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It’s simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step. (Joni Erickson Tada)

The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety. (George Mueller)

Where reason cannot wade there faith may swim. (Thomas Watson)

To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible. (St. Thomas Aquinas)

Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.(Oswald Chambers)

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. (Corrie Ten Boom)

More quotes here. (I do not necessarily agree with all the teachings those quoted on this link.)

Aside

How to Hear a Word from God: The Letter to the Hebrews begins off reminding us of a stunning and remarkable fact – God spoke. And not only has God spoken, but he has done so “at many times, and in many ways.” And in these last days, he has spoken by a new and infinitely greater way of speaking. He has spoken by His Son.

Have you heard this Word from God? Now, you might have read this Word, but how often – if at all – have you heard it?

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Upcoming Study: James: Mercy Triumps

Bible scholars compare James to the prophet Amos. In other ways James more closely resembles the Book of Proverbs than any New Testament book. Come along with Beth Moore on a journey to get to know both the man and the Book of James. You will never be the same again.
Topics in this study include: joy, hardship, faith, reversal of fortunes for rich and poor, wisdom, gifts from above, single-mindedness, the dangers of the tongue, humility, and prayer. Plus, Beth introduces a 5-tiered study approach that she has never done before.

Beth Moore “James: Mercy Triumphs
Begins: Tuesday, August 27 at 10 a.m. (8-weeks)
Location: Aloma Church, HP-2246Cost: $15

Contact me if you need more information or would like to register.
Janice Stephens: 407-929-7783 or abiding@cfl.rr.com